Right lye, wrong water amts

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Dec 20, 2017
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If it ain't one thing...
I searched, I really did, but all I could find were posts on folks using the wrong lye and getting soft soaps by mistake. I'm feeling like my brain is getting soft instead.
So here goes. My Mexican soap-making workshop went like a fire sale! Everyone was very interested in all the info, they were so impressed with what they did and learned about how soap was made they actually clapped at the end! And everyone got to make a slab mold, some individual molds, and even reused dessert cups as soap molds.
So what was the fly in the ointment? As I was writing up my notes in my Soap notebook last night and into this morning, I saw this GLARING discrepancy in the liquid amounts between the what we used and what my soapmakingfriend.com was telling me should've been the RIGHT amount for CP solid soap with NaOH.
I'm uploading both recipes, but essentially, the KaOH recipe has almost double the amount of water than the NaOH. Then again used the lye weight as well.
Have I done it and made this group a terrible soap? I've made some dumb mistakes but never one quite like this.


Well-Known Member
Feb 20, 2013
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So let me make sure I understand -- you used the water amount from the KOH recipe (2778 g) but you used the alkali amount from the NaOH recipe (1048 g)? And you made the recipe using NaOH.

If so, your lye concentration was around 27% and the soap should be plenty safe to use. A lye concentration of 27% is a generous amount of water for an NaOH recipe, but it's within the realm of reason -- many batches of soap have been made at that concentration.

So it's not what you had intended to do, but it's still acceptable.


Grandmother & Soaper
Supporting Member
Apr 30, 2016
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Western Illinois, USA
When new, many of us made soap using the default settings in soapcalc and that was often as low as 25% Lye Concentration, and the soap was just fine. It tended to take a long time to set up and couldn't be taken out of the mold for several days with some recipes, but the soap was definitely still safe soap.